I Really Was Hoping to Like This Debut
The instant I heard about Much Ado About Nauticaling, it went on my to be read list. It was the setting of Catalina Island here in Southern California that appealed to me most. Ironic since I haven’t actually been out there for years and it’s my own fault. Anyway, I sat down to read this looking forward to a fantastic book, but sadly it was average.
Whitney “Whit” Dagner has moved out to Catalina to help her brother, Nick, help run the glass bottom boat business they’ve taken over from their grandparents and open a souvenir shop near the harbor. While they didn’t grow up on the island, they visited every summer growing up, so it feels like coming home for Whit. She’s left behind a demanding career on the mainland, and she is enjoying being her own boss and the slower pace of island life.
That is until Jules Tisdale turns up dead. He was a wealthy business man on the island and had just been named Person of the Year. Whit didn’t care for him since he came across as arrogant and demanding much of the time, but it is Nick who the police center in on as their prime suspect. Can Whit prove his innocence?
This book is intended to be a humorous mystery. And there were a few scenes that made me smile and laugh. Unfortunately, the rest of the time, the book felt frenetic. It was trying to be funny more than it was funny. Or maybe it just didn’t hit my funny bone right.
This also explains some of the characters. They were too broad, intending to be funny. I can definitely see the potential for the humor in them, but they annoyed me more than amused me. Again, it might have just been my mood, but it didn’t work.
Which is a shame because there were other characters I really did like. The love interest especially sticks out to me. I appreciated that the author did something different there, and I really liked the character. Whit herself is fun to be around, and I related to her more than I’d like to admit at times. And Whiskers, Whit’s cat, is totally adorable.
The mystery was okay. It was a bit slow in the beginning despite Jules dying fairly early. But the further I went into the book, the stronger it got. The ending was a surprise yet perfectly logical. But it was also abrupt. While we learned the killer and motive, it left a few twists dangling. Or maybe that will be fodder for the next book.
Again, I haven’t gone to Catalina in years (despite living fairly close by), but I loved the setting. I’m definitely going to have to go back and visit again soon now that I’ve read this book.
I have a feeling that there will be people who get the humor here and love Much Ado About Nauticaling. But for me, it didn’t work as well as I hoped it would.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.